The iconic Bollywood film Sholay (1975) has inspired several Hindi remakes over the years, such as Joshilay (1989) and the more recent Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007) among others. But this time, the Ramesh Sippy directorial has worked its magic on regional film director Vickey Kharat, who is set to remake the film in Marathi. However, this time, he claims the movie will be an out-and-out comedy.
“The original Sholay cast a deep spell on our minds. We can’t change that. So I am presenting a serious story in a comic form and it is called Marathi Sholay,” says Vickey, who isn’t worried about buying the rights to the film, as he is not retaining any elements from the original plot in the remake. “It’s not a copy. Even if the original makers see it, they won’t have any objection. Although the character names are the same, they all have different professions. In the original, Jai and Veeru were thieves; in this film, they are police officers. And Basanti rows a boat in a lake near her village, instead of riding a horse carriage,” says Vickey, adding that it would be “foolish to try and remake the same plot”.
“Ram Gopal Varma tried, but he fell flat on his face. Everyone still remembers each dialogue from Sholay. I may not be able to create history, but it will be entertaining,” says Vickey.
Marathi actors Siddharth Jadhav and Bharat Jadhav will play Jai and Veeru in the ‘remake’, reprising the roles played by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra in the original. Actor Ashok Sharaf will play the part of Thakur, which was essayed by Sanjeev Kumar. And actor Makarand Ansaspure will be seen as the legendary villain Gabbar Singh, a role popularised by Amjad Khan.
“We are yet to rope in actors to play Basanti (Hema Malini’s character) and Radha (Jaya Bachchan’s character),” says the director, who in the past has assisted filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar on Chandni Bar (2001), Satta (2003) and Aan: Men At Work (2004).
He made his debut as director with the Marathi film, Thamb Laxmi Thamb (2007) followed by Bhaucha Dhakka in 2011. Marathi Sholay is expected to go on the floors in mid-April this year.
Family feud over Sholay’s copyright
In 2006, Sascha Sippy, grandson of producer GP Sippy, had moved court claiming the rights to the film, Sholay. On the other hand, Sascha’s uncle Ajit and grandmother Mohini also wanted to get their hands on the film’s rights and ownership. In 2010, the Delhi High Court resolved the family dispute and declared Sascha as the exclusive owner of the rights of the film, which was directed by Ramesh Sippy.
Other Bollywood Sholay adaptations
Subhash Ghai’s Karma (1986)
Sibte Hassan Rizvi’s Joshilay (1989)
Ajit Diwani’s Ramgarh Ke Sholay (1991)
Rajkumar Santoshi’s China Gate (1998)
Kanti Shah’s Duplicate Sholay (2002)
Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007)